Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Advanced Italian Cooking Class

Now for the promised advanced Italian recipes by Lana Bizzieri.

Coffee Frappe

Brew strong espresso coffee and chill.
Put 1 c of whole milk, plus 2 Tbls whipping cream in a food blender and whip it up a bit.
Add coffee to taste, along with a bit of sugar, and whip again. Serve in a tall glass.

Very, very good!!

Penne Au Arrabiata

1 large can of strained tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic
4 oz pancetta, chopped
ground red pepper to taste
4 oz pecorino Romano, grated
2 oz EVOO
1 1/2 lb penne, mostacioli or rigatoni

In a large skillet, saute' pancetta in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking. Add onion and garlic and continue cooking until onion is soft and transparent (3 to 4 minutes). Add tomatoes and cook over high flame, stirring frequently, until mixture has condensed (about 10 minutes).

Pour over cooked pasta, add cheese, mix well and serve immediately.


4 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 c EVOO
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 sprigs parsley
salt and ground pepper to taste
1/4 c pine nuts
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Place basil in food blender, add oil, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and pine nuts. Blend until all are blended and chopped very fine, but not smooth. Remove from blender and stir in grated cheese.

Ricotta Pie

The Pastry

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c plus 1 Tbls sugar
3 egg yolks, beaten
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
10 Tbls unsalted butter, at room temperature

The Filling

1 lb ricotta cheese
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 oz white raisins soaked in enough rum to cover (soak for 2 hrs.)
2 oz citron or green candied lemon peel, diced into tiny pieces
1/3 c pine nuts, toasted until just barely browned

Butter and dust spring form pan.

Place flour in large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest and butter. Use a pastry blender and cut into small pieces. Mix until coarse meal consistency. Add a Tbls or 2 of water in order to form dough. Knead a couple of times.

Cut the pastry into 2 pieces, one slightly small than the other. Roll out the larger of the two to 1/8 inch thickness. Lift from rolling surface and drape over pan leaving overhang.

Cream ricotta with sugar, add all other ingredients for the filling and mix well. Pour mixture over prepared crust.

Roll out remaining pastry and cut into 3/4 inch strips. Crimp the ends of the strips and seal to bottom crust.

Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto plate.

Can be served warm or room temperature.

There now I am all caught up. Oh, wait, I need Chris Hall's recipes for his rookie cooking class. Must call him.....

Again all of the recipes tasted wonderful and were easier than you would think they would be. Pictures are on Facebook and if you have any questions please call me at 542-6935.


Advanced Greek Cooking Class

I know I have promised Lana's advanced Greek recipes for quite some time now and for that I apologize. Here they are, enjoy!

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Egg Lemon Sauce

1 jar grape leaves
(Imported grape leaves have a sharper "bite" than California leaves)


1 c raw long grain rice
1/2 c olive oil
1 c chopped yellow onion
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 Tbls dried dill weed
Juice of one lemon
1 lb lean ground lamb, coarsely ground or chopped
1 tsp allspice
2 cloves crushed garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


2 cups chicken stock
Juice of one lemon

Egg Lemon Sauce

1 c chicken stock
2 Tbls butter
2 Tbls flour
2 eggs
Juice of one lemon
2 Tbls water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare a roux with flour and butter. Add the stock.
In a bowl, whip the eggs, lemon juice and water until frothy. Add the eggs to the thickened stock, stirring constantly. Bring to temperature, BUT DO NOT BOIL.

Mix together all ingredients for the filling.

Remove stems from grape leaves. Lay leaf on counter with stem side up. Place 1 to 2 teaspoons filling in the center of the leaf. Fold stem base up first, sides, then roll to tip of leaf, forming a cigar like shape. Do not wrap too tightly as rice needs room to expand. Using a heavy pan, place leaves on top of single layer in bottom of pan. Place rolls side by side. Cover with a layer of unrolled leaves and then another layer of rolled leaves. Continue until all rolled leaves are added. End with unrolled leaves. Place medium plate over top of leaves for weight. Mix stock and lemon juice, pour over leaves. Cover and cook at 350 for an hour. Remove the pan from heat and cool for additional hour. Do not remove the lid or leaves will darken. Serve with warm egg lemon sauce.

Greek Egg and Lemon Soup

6 cups chicken stock
1/3 c uncooked medium or long grained rice
4 eggs
3 Tbls fresh lemon juice
salt, to taste

In a 3 or 4 quart stock pot bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Pour in the rice, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until grains are just tender but still slightly resistant to the bite. Reduce heat to low.

Beat eggs with a whisk or rotary beater until frothy. Beat in the lemon juice and stir in 1/4 c of the simmering chicken broth. This is tempering. SLOWLY pour the mixture into the broth, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the soup thickens enough to coat the spoon lightly.

DO NOT ALLOW SOUP TO BOIL. Add salt to taste.


4 cups fresh yogurt, unflavored
1 medium cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place a piece of cheesecloth in a colander and pour in the yogurt. Allow yogurt to drain for several hours. Place grated cucumber in another colander and drain for two hours. Mix ingredients together and chill.

Serve as a spread on pita bread or as a dip for vegetables.


12 eggs
1 lb powdered sugar
3 cups ground walnuts
8 zwieback crackers, ground
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature

Separate eggs. Beat egg whites. Beat yolks and powdered sugar. Beat butter alone. Combine all ingredients. Butter a 14 inch round pan or 9 by 13 pan. Pour batter in and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let cool for on hour. Slice crosswise and pour hot syrup over all.


2 cups sugar
3 cups water
Few drops of lemon juice
Bring sugar and water to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and pour over pastry.

And there you have it. The recipes for the advanced Greek Cooking class given by Lana Bizzieri. I can attest that all of the food tasted wonderful and, for being advanced, the recipes were quite easy to follow. A couple of things to remember: the stems of the leaves are bitter and if the leaves are older they can also be bitter; and remember to temper the soup or you will end up with scrambled eggs. Pictures are on our Facebook Page, Ingredients: for the gourmet in you.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Basic Cooking Class III

Now for the final installment of our basic cooking class recipes from Lana Bizzieri. These are her great tasting, easy to prepare recipes for dinner.

Cheddar Meatloaf

1 egg
3/4 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c quick cook oats
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
2/3 c ketchup
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard

In a bowl, beat the egg and milk, stir in the cheese, oats, onion and salt. Add beef and thoroughly blend.

Shape into football shaped individual loaves. Place into a 9 x 13 pan. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard and spoon mixture over loaves.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Immediately remove meat loaves from pan so they don't sit in the grease.

Pistachio Marble Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 box instant pistachio pudding mix
1/2 c water
4 eggs
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c chocolate syrup

Blend cake mix with all other ingredients except chocolate syrup. Beat 2 minutes with mixer. Reserving 1/4 of the batter, add batter to greased bundt pan. Mix reserved batter with chocolate syrup, thoroughly blend. Add to bundt pan in large drops. Using a table knife, gently stir chocolate into batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Cool on wire rack for about ten minutes and invert onto cake plate. Cool completely before slicing. Sprinkle with confectionery sugar.

Fruit Cobbler

1 stick of margarine or butter

1 c self-rising flour
1 c sugar
3/4 c milk

Melt butter or margarine in a 9 x 13 pan in oven. Beat together sugar, flour and milk. Place dough over melted butter.

4 c fresh fruit
2 c sugar (artificial sweetener may be substituted)

Mix fruit and sweetener together. Pour sweetened fruit over dough and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Nick's BBQ Sauce

4 ounces tomato sauce
2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black and red spice
1 Tbls ketchup
3 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 smoked Spanish paprika

Mix together and serve.

Nick's sauce tasted very good over the meatloaf. Lana served this with deli meat, delicious.

Basic Cooking Class II

Better late than never with these delicious and easy recipes for lunch from Lana Bizzieri. Truly, I am sorry this has taken so long.

Sauce for Macaroni and Cheese

2 Tbls a/p flour
2 Tbls margarine or butter
1 c milk

Melt butter in small saucepan; add flour and stir until it is thoroughly blended with flour; slowly whisk milk into mixture. Continue stirring until lightly boiling.

At this point add whatever cheese you are using. If doubling size of recipe - rule of thumb is one cup of cheese for every cup of milk.

Boil macaroni per instructions.

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

1 pkg frozen chopped broccoli, 10 ounce pkg, thawed and drained*
1 c sour cream
1 c cottage cheese
1/2 c bisquick baking mix
1/4 c margarine, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease/spray the casserole dish. Spread broccoli in dish. Beat sour cream, cottage cheese, bisquick margarine and eggs with a hand mixer. Pour mixture over broccoli and sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake until golden brown and center is solid, about 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

*You can use a larger package of broccoli, if you wish. Lana has used as much as a 16 ounce package and she still has enough mixture to cover the broccoli.


1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 Tbls vinegar
1 egg, unbeaten
1 c canola oil

Add lemon juice and vinegar to dry ingredients; mix. Add egg and 1/3 c oil; beat until mixture begins to thicken. Add another 1/3 c of the oil, bet 1 minute, add rest of oil, and beat 1 additional minute.

Pita Snacks

1 Tbls parsley
2 Tbls Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 Tbls margarine
1 package of pita pockets

Melt margarine. Combine herbs and add to melted margarine. Brush on whole pita pockets. Cut into wedges. Bake at 400 degrees for 9 minutes.

Soda Crackers

2 c a/p flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c butter
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift together flour, salt and soda. Cut in butter. Stir in buttermilk and egg mixing until liquid is absorbed. Knead dough for 5 minutes on lightly floured surface. Roll half the dough at a time into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Place on a sprayed baking sheet. Cut into 2 inch squares. Prick dough with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Store in airtight container. Makes 60 crackers.

Cream Puffs

2/3 c sugar
4 Tbls cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
4 c milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
4 Tbls butter, soften
4 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a 2 quart saucepan. Stir milk, gradually. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat stir in butter and vanilla. Cool before filling cream puff shells.

1 c water
1/2 c margarine or butter
1 c a/p flour
4 eggs

Heat water and margarine to rolling boil in saucepan. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each one. Drop dough about 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet or use parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in place away from a draft. Cut off tops. Remove any fragments of soft dough. Fill with filling. Replace tops. Dust with powdered sugar or chocolate.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Basic Cooking Class I

Along with the easy and very delicious recipes posted below, Lana gave examples of meanings of some descriptive words used in food labeling, she talked about the new requirements for the "nutrition facts" listed on foods and she went over cooking terms with us. There are pictures posted to our Facebook, Ingredients: For the Gourmet in You.

Turkey Apple Sausage

2 slightly beaten egg whites
1/2 c soft breadcrumbs
1/2 c peeled and finely chopped apple
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb ground turkey

In medium bowl, combine everything but the turkey. Mix thoroughly. Add ground turkey, forming into small patties. Cook thoroughly like you would any other sausage, browning each side.

Morning Glory Muffins

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 TBL cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups grated carrot
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 c each shredded coconut, raisins, pecans or walnuts
1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
3 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 and grease 16 muffin cups or use paper liners.

Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in carrots, apple, coconut, raisins, nuts and pineapple.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together with the oil and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and blend well. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them almost to the top. Bake approximately 35 minutes or until muffin springs up when lightly depressed with a fork.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out on wire rack for cooling. When cool, store in airtight container. These muffins are best when made a day ahead of time.

Amish Baked Oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350
Beat together 1/2 c melted margarine or butter, 2/3 c brown sugar and two eggs.

Add the following to the first mixture:

1 c milk
3 cups quick oatmeal
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large apple, chopped
Cinnamon to taste

Place in a greased 2 quart round casserole and sprinkle with pecans and sugar.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, serve as is or top with milk or cream

Treasure Filled Coffee Cake

3/4 c sugar
1 TBL orange peel
6 ounces cream cheese
2 10 ounce cans of biscuit dough
1/2 c butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 and grease 12 c fluted bundt pan.

Combine sugar and orange peel, set aside.
Cut cream cheese into 20 squares.

Open biscuit and separate into two parts.
Place cream cheese square into one biscuit half; cover with the other half.
Dip each biscuit into melted butter, then into sugar mixture.
Stand biscuits on end, sprinkle with remaining sugar and drizzle with remaining butter.

Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and after one minute, invert pan onto plate. Cool slightly before serving.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cooking with Chemo

As promised here are Luke's recipes from the Cooking with Chemo class.

Chicken Stir-fry Simplicity

By Luke Miller

4 T Olive Oil

2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic (Chopped fine or pressed)

1 T Ground or Freshly Grated Ginger

¼ Cup Soy sauce

1 lb. Chicken Breast (Cut in bite size pieces)

Two bags of frozen stir-fry vegetables

½ Cup Chicken Stock

2 T Cornstarch

¼ Cup Dry Sherry

4 Green Onions


In a medium bowl add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chicken breast and stir to combine and let stand. This can be done up to a day in advance. In another small bowl or measuring cup add cornstarch and sherry and mix until combined.

In a hot stir-fry pan add remaining oil and marinated chicken mixture. Stir while cooking until chicken is cooked through. Add frozen vegetables and continue to stir until vegetables are warm. Push your mixture up the sides of the stir-fry pan making a hole in the center like a doughnut. Add you chicken stock and let the liquid come to a boil. Once liquid starts to boil add your cornstarch and sherry mixture to the middle and stir until it starts to thicken. Fold in the vegetable and chicken mixture from the sides of the pan and combine to evenly coat the sauce.

Serve over some steamed rice and enjoy!

Veggie Spaghetti

By Luke Miller

Two large parsnips cut into threads with Mandolin or Julienne slicer.


2 14.5 ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes chopped in bowl

3oz. tomato paste

¼ Cup red wine

Three cloves garlic diced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon of fennel seed

¼ Cup of fresh basil coarsely chopped

8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms

1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons Light Olive oil (for sauteing)

Chicken Breast (or Salmon)

Salt and Pepper


In a medium sauté pan add two tablespoons of light olive oil on a medium to medium high heat. Season your chicken breast with salt and pepper on each side and add to the pan then cover with a lid. Let chicken sauté for about 2 minutes then turn it on the other side. Continue to sauté until chicken is browned on both sides and cooked through. While chicken is cooking assemble your remaining ingredients so they are ready to add to the pan. Once the chicken is cooked set it aside on plate with a paper towel to remove the excess oil.

In the same pan add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil the sliced garlic cloves and sauté for about 30 second being careful not to brown the garlic. Add fresh sliced mushroom to pan and sauté with red pepper and fennel seed. Add half of the red wine to deglaze the pan scraping the brown bits from the pan. Turn up the heat to medium high and continue to sauté until mushrooms soften and are cooked through. Add chopped tomatoes and turn the heat down to medium. Continue to simmer the sauce until it lightly bubbles. Add the basil to the sauce and turn the heat to medium low.

In a pan with a steamer insert add the Julianne strips of parsnips and steam them until tender. You may want to taste the threads as if they were spaghetti noodles to test for doneness. Spoon sauce over parsnip noodles and top with parmesan cheese if your diet allows.

Black Bean Hummus

By Luke Miller

2 cloves of fresh garlic

4 Green onions

1 Jalapeno

2 Limes of Juice (if you want more lime flavor zest lime first before you squeeze juice)

One big handful of fresh Cilantro

2 16oz cans black beans strained and washed

1 T kosher Salt

2 T ground cumin

1 T Fresh ground Black Pepper

Hot pepper sauce of some type, if you want it spicier


In a food processor add the first five ingredients and run processor until liquefied. Add rinsed black beans and process again until it becomes the consistency you desire. Add salt, pepper, cumin and additional hot sauce and adjust to taste.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pasta Class II

Chef Luke came to class with prepared dough from the recipe we learned last week. From there we broke up into twos and rolled and cut the dough for ravioli. What fun, we ended up with several sizes and shapes (the thinner the dough, the easier it was to boil). Again in twos and then fours we made the fillings (the cheese and the seafood fillings were made) and sauces listed below. After the ravioli were filled, they were boiled for a very short time. Everything was so delicious. Just thinking about it I am getting hungry all over again!

Three Cheese Filling Base

1 C Ricotta Cheese
1/4 C Parmesan Reggiano
1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella or Provolone
1 t EVOO
1 t Basil
1 Clove Garlic finely chopped or made into a paste with kosher salt
1 large egg

For Seafood Filling: Add to the above, one cup of mixture of seafood finely minced or shredded in a processor with one tablespoons of lemon zest and a 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley. Luke sauteed shrimp and mussels to use for our class. Very, very good.

In a bowl add all of the ingredients and mix well.

Cajun Cream Sauce

2 Cloves Garlic
2 T White Wine or Vermouth
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 C fine grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
1 T Tomato Paste
1/2 t Paprika
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper to taste
1/4 t Oregano
1/4 t Thyme
2 T Butter

Sweat garlic in oil for a few seconds and add wine before garlic browns. Add cream and reduce while whisking on low heart until cream thickens and coats back of spoon*. Whisk in cheese until smooth. If you feel it is too thick, add more cream as needed. Add paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme and which. Whisk in butter before serving.

*When thickened to right consistency, you should be able to run your finger down back of spoon and separate the sauce in two parts.

Bolognese Sauce

1 Carrot, finely diced
1/2 C Onion, finely diced
1/2 C Celery, finely diced
1/2 C Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed/chopped
1 Lb. Ground Sweet Italian Sausage
1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 15 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1/4 C Red Wine
1 t Sugar
1/2 t Basil*
1/2 t Oregano*
1/4 t Red Pepper Flakes*

Saute carrots, onion, celery and red pepper in oil. Add sausage and garlic, and brown meat. Drain fat, add tomatoes, red wine, sugar and seasonings. Serve hot over pasta.

*Add spices to taste.

I want to thank everyone who participated in these pasta classes, especially Luke and Cydney Miller. Luke will be back May 20 to teach nutritious cooking to people who need, will need to or have had chemo. Good luck to Cydney on her next competition.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Basic Pasta Class I

Hi, all. We had a wonderful time at our basic pasta making class with Luke Miller. Everyone had a chance to make their dough, roll the dough through the pasta machine to make their choice of noodles and cook two sauces. Of course after all of that work they were able to sit down and eat their creation and drink a bit of wine. To make this class even more fun the fire alarm went off during Luke's basic Alfredo sauce demonstration. Not knowing the code to stop the alarm, 911 would not stop the fire department from coming to "ingredients". I could silence the alarm; but not stop the strobe and I apologize to my downtown family for any distress cause by the fire truck being parked on First St. The strobe has stopped (as of this morning) and all is well.

Below are the recipes by Luke Miller from Class One: Basic Pasta:

Basic Pasta Dough

1 3/4 C Unbleached Flour
1 t Kosher Salt
2 extra large eggs or 3 large eggs

On a solid work surface add 1 1/2 C flour in a mound and make a well in the center reserving the remaining 1/4 c for later kneading. Add oil, eggs and salt in a bowl and mix. Pour egg mixture in center of mound and begin to work with your fingers until you form a mass. Use the reserved flour a little at a time to form into a smooth ball. The dough will be slightly tacky to the touch when it is ready. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator until you are ready to roll it out.

Simple Tomato Sauce

2 Cloves Garlic chopped fine
1/4 C Yellow Onion chopped fine
1/4 C Red Wine
2 16oz cans of diced Tomatoes
1 T Basil
1 T Oregano
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Kosher salt to taste
Sugar to taste*

Sweat garlic and onion in oil for a few minutes until translucent and cooked through. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add tomatoes and spices and simmer until desired thickness.

If you would like a smoother tomato sauce, pulse it in a blender or food processor before serving.

*Sugar is added as a way to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Add this in small amounts, like salt, until you get the desired taste.

Alfredo Sauce

2 Cloves Garlic
2 T White Wine or Vermouth
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 C fine grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
1 T Butter

Sweat garlic in oil for a few seconds and add wine before garlic browns. Add cream and reduce while whisking on low heat until cream thickens and coats back of spoon*. Whisk in cheese until smooth. If it is too thick add more cream. Whisk in butter before service.

*When thickened to right consistency, you should be able to run your finger down back of spoon and separate the sauce in two parts.

I can tell you that everything tasted so good. I didn't realize how easy it is to make pasta (although we sell some pasta here) and how good it tastes. It does take a bit of time; but you can store your mound of pasta for a while. The homemade sauces were easy and delicious and they didn't take much time at all. I promised Calla Rae we would attempt this at home. Hmm, I wonder if Luke would come over and help :-).

Next week we will be filling ravioli with cheese and seafood and we learn two new sauces.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wedding Registry

With so many options from which to select, choosing the right kitchen essentials can be overwhelming for couples as they begin the wedding registry process. The Masters Collection, designed by prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) combines the best features and benefits including durability, multi-functionality and comfort to make it an ideal choice for cooking novices or those with more experience.

The following is a list of essential items and tips for every couple setting up their first kitchen:

1. Couples should make sure they know how their cookware materials conduct heat before purchasing. It's also a good idea to have a variety of cookware sizes and functions-purchase a starter set in addition to a few open stock specialized pieces. Masters Collection cookware offers seven-ply stainless clad construction with a pure copper center to provide optimum heat distribution for cooking.

2. Well designed knives make for easy chopping and slicing. Make sure to hold the knife before registering for it; it should always feel balanced and well-proportioned. The Masters Collection Hyde Park cutlery offers a balance-forward handle design and streamlined bolster to provide a secure grip. Made of high-carbon stainless steel, the blade holds its sharp edge.

3. Have a variety of kitchen gadgets on hand to simplify the cooking process. Having task specific gadgets and tools such as pizza wheels, can openers, peppermills and peelers speed things up in the kitchen. The right tools will make for better food presentations as well.

4. A non-stick cake pan is multi-functional and can offer easy cleanup. The Master Collection cake pan is ideal because of its aluminized steel construction, which promotes even baking and browning. The grooved handles create a secure handling system and its nonstick surface allows for simple cleanup. A cooling rack is very useful for resting just-baked cookies, cake, or pastries.

5. A good pair of tongs is essential for picking up meat and fish from the grill. Tongs should feel comfortable and be long enough to keep hands safe distance away from the hot surface. The Master Collection locking tongs feature ergonomically designed handles for a more secure grip.

6. A kitchen scale is good for precise measurements and to help keep track of portion sizes, which can play a big part in keeping healthy. The Master Collection digital scale can measure ingredients by weight in either grams or ounces. The scale automatically shuts off after 15 minutes of no weight change.

7. A accurate thermometer is an essential tool in today's kitchens. A digital probe thermometer remotely displays food temperatures and time elapsed while cooking and eliminates the need for continually opening the oven door to check doneness. Alarm will sound when cooking time or temperature is reached so the chef can move on to other tasks. The Masters Collection Digital Probe is available with commercial quality stainless steel probe and 44" silicone wire cord for extra durability.

Above is just a sample of the CIA products available at Ingredients with prices range from $4.25 to more than $900.00. Special Orders are always welcome.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mexican Cooking/Demonstration Class

It sure smells wonderful in the store! Last night was the end of our cooking class series with Lana and we had a fun time! The food tasted wonderful (for you folks who left early you missed an eating treat with Pan De Elote). Instead of asking for kitchens tips last night, Lana asked for kitchen disasters and through the night people shared their mistakes to plenty of laughter. Mine included corn bread and self-rising flour (who knew there was flour that contained ingredients) and french toast and cumin (well the spice started with a "c"). Calla was given credit for the french toast incident. Several of you asked Lana for more classes and we are going to start working on that probably for the summer; she will definitely teach an Italian class again for those who missed the first one. The other three we are not sure of. Asian cooking seemed to be the class most asked for. One take away from last nights class was to ground your cumin in a mortar and pestle before measuring. You could smell the spice, what a difference that makes. A big thank you to all of who participated in the classes and supported Ingredients.

Taco Seasoning

2 tsp minced dried onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix together and store in sealed, dry container. This is equivalent to one envelope of store bought seasoning.

Tortilla Chips

Use day old store bought flour tortillas. Cut into strips, triangles or whatever shape you need.
Fry in hot oil for 60 seconds (put in small batches at a time so temperature of oil doesn't drop). Remove and put on paper towels and sprinkle with salt if desired.

Enchilada Pie

1 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 TBL olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
2 tsp ground cumin
1 can (14 oz) cut tomatoes with garlic and onion
1/2 c enchilada sauce (from jar or can)
1 can chopped and drained green chilies
1 c frozen corn kernels
3/4 c pitted black olives, sliced
4 8 inch flour or corn tortillas
1 8 oz bag of Mexican blend cheese

Accompaniments can be sour cream, shredded lettuce, sliced olives, etc.

Use a round casserole dish (preferably glass).

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and saute' 3 to 4 minutes. Add meat, breaking up and cooking until meat in no longer pink. Sprinkle with cumin, add tomatoes, enchilada sauce and chopped green chilies. Stir until bubbling, then continue simmering for at least 10 minutes to develop flavors. Remove from heat and add corn and olives.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.


Line bottom of baking dish with 2 tortillas. Top with half of the filling, and about 1/3 of the cheese. Top with another tortilla, the remaining filling, half of the remaining cheese, and then the last tortilla.

Cover with lid or foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese melts and filling looks bubbly. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Can be assemble up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. If chilled, increase baking time by as much as 10 additional minutes.

Homemade Salsa

4 cups plum tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 grn pepper, finely chopped
1 c tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 TBL coriander
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1 1/2 TBL red wine vinegar

Mix and chill thoroughly.

Pan De Elote

16 oz can creamed corn
1 c bisquick
1 egg, beaten
2 TBL melted margarine
2 TBL sugar
1/2 c milk
4 oz can chopped green chilies, drained
8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease 9 x 9 square or round cake pan, combine corn, bisquick, egg, margarine, sugar and milk. Mix well, spoon 1/2 mixture into greased pan, cover with chopped green chilies, cover with 1/2 of the cheese, spoon remain batter on top and add remaining cheese.

Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Mexican Brides

1 c butter or margarine room temperature
1 egg, separated
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 c finely ground pecans

Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolk and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add cream mixture and mix well. Chill 1 hour.
Beat egg white until foamy. Make balls out of dough, dip in egg white, then pecans. Press 1/2 of a maraschino cherry on top, if desired. Bake at 325 dgrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Candied Orange Peel

5 large oranges (with thick rind)
3 cups sugar
1/4 c light corn syrup

Day before serving:

Cut oranges in half lengthwise. Squeeze out as much of the juice as possible. Cut in half again.

In heavy saucepan, bring peel and 2 quarts of water to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, covered 30 minutes, or until peel is tender. Drain, cool slightly, and carefully scrape excess pulp from peel.

In same saucepan, combine 1 c of water, 2 cups of sugar and the corn syrup. Cook over medium heat stirring often and until sugar is dissolved and syrup is boiling. Continue cooking without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 235 degrees or until a little syrup in cold water forms soft ball. Add peel. Simmer gently, stirring frequently, 30 to 40 minutes or until peel is translucent. Lift peels from bottom of pan several times during cooking. Turn peel and syrup into bowl. Let stand in cool, dry place, covered overnight.

Next day:

Remove peel from syrup to a wire rack. Let drain a minimum of 3 hours. With scissors, cut into 1/4 inch strips. Roll in remaining sugar, coating well. Partially dry and roll in sugar again. Store peel in tightly covered container.